Making the Decision
Circumcision is an elective procedure. It's your choice whether to have your son circumcised. In most cases, there is no medical need for a circumcision. It is not required by law or by hospital policy. Scientific studies show some medical benefits of circumcision, but these benefits are not sufficient enough for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to recommend that all infant boys be circumcised. The AAP does recommend, however, that parents discuss the benefits and risks of circumcision with their pediatrician and then make an informed decision.
Ask yourself why you may or may not want your son to be circumcised. Some parents may want their sons circumcised for religious, social, or cultural reasons. Followers of the Jewish and Islamic faiths have circumcised their male newborns for centuries. Although many newborn boys in the United States are circumcised, it is much less common in Northern Europe and other parts of the world. Ask yourself if it matters whether your son looks like other men in the family or his peers.
Whether or not to circumcise your newborn is an important decision. Circumcision could be riskier if done later in a boy's life, so if you have any questions or concerns, talk with your doctor about them during your pregnancy. Then you'll have enough time to make an informed decision.